Dialect coach Erik Singer shows us what the Pitts and Smiths do wrong when they affect an accent, but he also shows us how some actors get it oh so right, like Philip Seymour Hoffman's portrayal of Truman Capote.
Professional boxing, professional football, professional basketball, professional wresting. One of these things is not like the others. Pro wrestling is performance art, following a script for the audience's entertainment. It wasn't always like that. In the early 20th century, wrestling was a legitimate competition like any other, with rules and challengers hoping to beat the champions. And it wasn't nearly as fun as the modern version.
But professional wrestling began to change in a way unlike anything ever seen in sports history. While boxing had known to be fixed from time to time, and the “Black Sox Scandal” had briefly tarnished Major League Baseball, no legitimate sport had ever made the full transition into what the WWE now calls “sports entertainment”—fully scripted, predetermined matchups, with chosen champions.
That change didn’t happen overnight. But wrestling historians look to one match, which completely altered pro wrestling’s history: Lewis vs. Munn, Kansas City, Miss., Jan. 8, 1925.
“That really kind of put the stamp on it,” [National Wrestling Hall of Fame director Kyle] Klingman said. “This completely changed the landscape of professional wrestling.”
So what happened at the match between champion Ed “Strangler” Lewis (pictured above) and college football star Wayne “Big” Munn? Read the story of the wrestling match that changed everything, and how it played out over time, at Atlas Obscura.
This Christmas has promised to be the most upside down holiday yet, but many people will be mighty glad to put this year behind them and move on. It's hard to keep your head and heart full of holiday cheer when there is so much evil lurking around in the world, and yet those who are willing to roll the dice see this dark time as a gateway to adventure. But if you decide to go on a quest and battle the darkness make sure you steer clear of strangers bearing gifts...
Add some dark adventure to your geeky wardrobe with this Upside Down Christmas t-shirt by Stationjack, it's the festive way to keep spirits bright when things are starting to get scary.
Look at this homemade cardboard cat castle! Just look at it! It's got rooms, stairs, a ramp, a balcony, plenty of holes and doors (some even slide), drawers, a basement to crawl under, and a turret that's shaped like a dragon's head, teeth and all!
Dinni the cat loves his new digs! Sam and Natalia, together called prefabcat, have closeup photos and more details about the Cat Ark at their website. Previous towers Sam built for Dinni are impressive, too. -via Geeks Are Sexy
There is no gift more personal or thoughtful than a gift basket, but they can also come off as a bunch of junk you threw together at the last minute because you couldn't be bothered to buy a real gift.
However, the junky factor can be avoided by thinking about what the recipient likes, what you can make that won't look like crap, and how much the recipient cares about overall presentation.
Guys are less likely to give or receive gift baskets during the holidays, but if the baskets contained cool stuff for barbecuing, like a homemade rub and sauce and some special tools, they'd get the gift basket appeal.
And speaking of appeal- orange-cardamom marmalade. It's a yummy treat that's pretty easy to make, and it adds that homemade wow factor to any basket you put together.
But what if you're hopeless in the kitchen? You should consider giving a themed gift basket that contains cooking utensils and other kitchen stuff, soaps and stuff for the bathroom, etc.
The recipient will still appreciate and applaud the effort, and you won't have to worry about your lack of cooking skills making your basket look subpar.
Here's a story about a high school student who may have found a kindred soul, but doesn't know who it is and time is running out because it's the end of the school year. What can you do? Also, there's something going on in this story that might surprise you, a twist ending, as it were.
Kennedy Sorensen's dog Chanel recently had puppies and rather than let the memories slip past, Kennedy thought it might be fun to capture the beauty of her preggo pooch before the puppies were delivered.
Like many expecting mothers, Chanel looks a little embarrassed by her full-figured frame, but she's still beautiful no matter how she feels. And just look at that healthy glow.
As was only fitting, the maternity shoot was then followed up by a photoshoot for the eleven beautiful, bouncing puppies.
A couple hundred years ago, before aspirin and drugs that dealt with specific health problems, people could seek relief from not only physical pain, but also stress and depression with laudanum. It's easy to see how, as the drug was a tincture of opium in alcohol. In the first half of the 18th century, you could get it over the counter. Laudanum gained a reputation as the answer to everything.
Laudanum became widely used throughout Victorian society as a medicine, and soon many writers, poets, and artists (along with many ordinary people) became addicted. Bram Stoker, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lord Byron, and many others were all known to have used laudanum. Some managed to take it briefly while ill, but others became hopelessly dependent. Most famously, the English writer Thomas De Quincey wrote a whole book—Confessions of an English Opium-Eater (1821)—on his use of opium and its derivatives. The book proposed that, unlike alcohol, opium improved the creative powers, an opinion that only served to make the drug more appealing to those searching for artistic and literary inspiration. A number of other writers also played on the perceived glamor of the drug, praising its ability to enhance the imagination.
If you spend enough time in bars, bowling alleys or pool halls you're bound to meet a trickster looking to score drinks by doing the seemingly impossible- or by simply conning people out of their cash.
Tricksters who use fast talk to confuse their marks are annoying, those who use a natural talent to win money are impressive, but nothing makes people happier about losing than tricksters who teach you a new trick for your money.
On this episode of Scam School Remix- how to remove a matchstick balanced on a nickel under glass without touching anything.
What most Americans remember of the Black Panther Party are the stars of the group: Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale, and Eldridge Cleaver. But of the thousands of Black Panthers, two thirds were women, working behind the scenes, running the social programs of the party. Author Judy Juanita was one of those women. She joined the Black Panther Party in its early days in the mid-1960s, and tells us what drew her to the group.
In the ’60s, people were looking at end-of-the-world scenarios with the atomic bomb and the Cold War. “Tricky Dick” Nixon got elected during this period, and the Vietnam War was ongoing. Women who were graduating college, Hillary Clinton’s generation, were saying, “I’m not going to have any children because I don’t want to bring a child into this world.” That was the most popular type of valedictorian speech at the women’s colleges at the time.
People had a very anti-government sentiment—we weren’t expecting the government to respond. No, all of those changes happened gradually over the next couple of decades. They didn’t happen right away. Instead of being frustrated, people had an attitude of resistance. The government was the antagonist. The American counterculture, we were the protagonists.
That’s really what the ’60s were about: We were good students. We said, “Wait a minute, something’s not right here. We’re not getting the complete story.” The desire to get the complete story came from the Civil Rights Movement and then the Vietnam War. Blacks wanted to investigate, “What’s happening with our civil rights?” And the white kids were coming out of the “Mad Men” era and saying, “Something’s not right here. We’ve been carrying on war like this continuously, using the great phrase ‘Manifest Destiny,’ and we’ve been slaughtering people since forever.” After World War I and World War II, we could question, “Wait a minute, what was so great about the war? What about the people who died?”
They say the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy, which means Stan Lee measures up to being just as super as the superheroes he creates. Stan "The Man" has an imagination that can soar through the galaxy, scale skyscrapers and defeat any evil stupid enough to threaten humanity, and since he has spent his life giving so much pleasure to others he is truly one of the most superheroic people to ever walk this Earth!
Give your fellow geeks something good to read with this Stan Lee t-shirt by Robotic Ewe, it's the wordiest way to show love for the creator of all your favorite comic book heroes!
Many Americans take the size and comfort of their bedrooms for granted, never stopping to think how good they have it when they complain about the outdated decor, lack of light or that it's "too small".
Jambyl Region, Kazakhstan
Does your bedroom have dirt floors, wooden slats for walls or a thatch roof that does little to keep the pests and weather out?
Ban Sai Ngam, Thailand
Then your bedroom is fine, but in case you're still on the fence about how good you've got it, or you're wondering how bedrooms in other countries compare to yours, check out these fun pics by photographer John Thackwray.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
John's photo series "My Room Project" has taken him from his home in South Africa to homes all around the world, where he mounts his camera on the ceiling to give us a better idea of how small the average bedroom really is.
These photos sure made me appreciate my central heating and king size bed!
Now admit it, you knew all those scary things in the Star Wars universe had to have some embarrassing failures, off-duty goofiness, and hobbies. We won't see them the movies, but when we get a glimpse, it's golden. -via Tastefully Offensive
Audrey posted this heartfelt letter to her ex's new girlfriend on Facebook's Love What Matters Page along with the photo below, to express how grateful she is that the new gf is so sweet to her daughter Riley.
This story should inspire exes who don't get along to consider how their hatred might affect the kids caught in the middle, and always remember the new person in your ex's life will be spending time with your kids- so try to keep your cool!
The top ten baby names of 2016 are nothing to write home about, as they are very close to the lists for 2015. The top six girls names ranked the same, and the top eight boys names are the same, but in a slightly different order. But that's not the big story here. Let's take a look at what names a little further down the list gained popularity in 2016. According to Buzzfeed, it appears pop culture played a part, because Tyreese, Hershel, and Carol all rose in popularity, thanks to The Walking Dead. The Netflix show Stranger Things may have played a part late in the year, as Dustin, Mike, and Joyce all rose. Banner and Harley made astonishing leaps in popularity. But it's not just pop culture: Hillary rose 64% and Ivanka was up 39%. See the top 100 names of 2016 for both boys and girls at BabyCenter. -via Uproxx
Cosplayers look really cool when they're posing for photos or walking around the Con floor, but nobody considers how awkward they look when they're riding the train to the Con or sitting down for a meal in full costume.
Alfred Carlton Gilbert was an extraordinary man. He set a world record for chin-ups, won an Olympic gold medal in the pole vault, earned a medical degree, and invented the Erector Set. The toy company he built around it was so respected that Gilbert was elected the first president of the Toy Manufacturers of America trade group. And that's when he ran into his biggest challenge.
It was 1918, the U.S. was embroiled in World War I, and the Council had made an open issue about their deliberation over whether to halt all production of toys indefinitely, turning factories into ammunition centers and even discouraging giving or receiving gifts that holiday season. Instead of toys, they argued, citizens should be spending money on war bonds. Playthings had become inconsequential.
Frantic toymakers persuaded Gilbert, founder of the A.C. Gilbert Company and creator of the popular Erector construction sets, to speak on their behalf. Toys in hand, he faced his own personal firing squad of military generals, policy advisors, and the Secretary of War.
Gilbert managed to convince the committee not to cancel toys for Christmas, which worked out well as the war ended that November. Read what he said to convince them at mental_floss.
It must suck to be the star of a slasher flick, because nobody ever really knows your name or your face since you're stuck wearing a mask or makeup the entire time.
The hockey mask becomes famous, the weird William Shatner mask becomes iconic and the skin mask and chainsaw are easily identified by all, and yet far too few know Kane Hodder is the man who played Jason Voorhees in the Friday The 13th movies.
It's common knowledge that Robert Englund played Freddy Krueger in every Nightmare On Elm Street flick, but are you familiar with the name Nick Castle?
He's the guy who played Michael Myers in the original Halloween movies, and yet Nick is way more famous for being the co-writer of Escape From New York than for his chilling portrayal of Michael Myers.
And let's not forget Doug Bradley, the guy who's happy to be called Pinhead because he plays that sinister Cenobite in the Hellraiser movies.
Doug has fully embraced the darkness that comes with playing the head Cenobite, which isn't surprising considering he has been friends with Clive Barker since the two were in secondary school.
Still, without those pins stuck in his head he's hard to pick out of a crowd...
DJ Earworm is back with his annual mashup of the biggest pop hits of the year. The 2016 version continues a trend that aging folks know well -every year the music gets less recognizable. But it's got a good beat; I can dance to it.
If you don't know the individual songs, it sounds like one coherent song, which just speaks to DJ Earworm's editing skills. If you know them, you can easily hear his editing skills. The song list is at the YouTube page. -via Metafilter
Everyone gets so into the Christmas shopping rush this time of year -even critters. This cute little furball was discovered browsing the Christmas aisles of a Dollar General in Maryland on Monday. Unfortunately, he didn't seem to find anything he was looking for, so instead he just messed up some of the shelf displays and left. I guess they just don't sell quality wood at Dollar General.
He was eventually caught by Animal Control and released back to a wildlife rehabilitation center -though I have to wonder if they would have let him keep shopping at local strip malls if he actually bought some items like a civilized creature.
See more pictures of the busy beaver over at the Daily Mail
This video is remarkable in several ways. First, there is no blood involved. Two, Simon is actually happy with his cat for a moment or two. And surprisingly, we get to hear Simon speak, even if it's only one word.
When creepy things come crawling out of the ground most children go running to their parents with tears in their eyes, but The Eeries see the animated corpse as childhood playthings, a grisly new toy to add to their collection. That's why no normal kids will play with The Eeries, but every time a new kid moves to town little Elwen Eerie is there to greet them, promising to show them sights they've never seen before...
People will really dig your taste in clothing when they see you wearing this Childhood Playthings t-shirt by Farsi, it's the creepy way to show the world you're a strange one indeed!
Something everyone thinks about as they get close to retiring is “What am I going to do with all that free time?” Some people move to the country, others travel the world. Still others make a difference right where they are.
One of the perks that come with working in a swanky, well-run high-rise office building in cities like Seattle, Washington, is that you almost never run out of toilet paper. The janitors see to it. Each night they replace the old toilet paper rolls with new ones, whether the old rolls are used up or not. And what happens to the rolls that get replaced? In the old days, the janitors just threw them out, something that drove Allison Delong, the manager of several buildings in Seattle in the 1990s, crazy. She hated to see all that toilet paper going to waste, but what was she going to do with all those partially used rolls?
The problem continued until Allison’s father, Leon Delong, retired in 1999 and found himself with more free time than he knew what to do with. When Allison told him about all the toilet paper rolls that were being thrown away, he offered to collect them and donate them to area food banks. She instructed the janitors in her buildings to set the rolls aside, and every other week Leon would load them into his pickup truck and deliver them to the food banks. They packaged the rolls in groups of three or four and put them out for people who didn’t have enough money to buy toilet paper. “Putting out Leon’s toilet paper is like putting out T-bone steaks,” food bank manager Anthony Brown told the Seattle Times. “If we don’t hold some of it back, it’s gone in an hour.”
ON A ROLL
Seattle’s “Toilet Paper Guy,” as Leon came to be known, added one building after another to his paper route (so to speak) until he was collecting rolls from about a quarter of all the high-rent office buildings in Seattle. He collected some 2,000–3,000 rolls every other week— enough to fill the bed of his pickup truck three times. He kept at it for 15 years, until a bout with pneumonia over the holidays in 2014 forced him to hand over the route to other volunteers. By then he’d saved what he estimates as around one million rolls of toilet paper from the trash and made them available to people in need. “I’m amazed how much this mattered to people,” he told the Seattle Times in 2014. “To me, it was just a nice thing to do. Now it’s my claim to fame. You know, I’m sort of proud of it.”
The article above is reprinted with permission from Uncle John’s Factastic Bathroom Reader. The 28th volume of the series is chock-full of fascinating stories and facts, and comes in both the Kindle version and paper with a classy cloth cover.
One of the great things about the Harry Potter series is that it is detailed enough to be a great story, but still open enough that it allows for an entire world of fan theories, sequels and other additions. Ranker has collected some of the best fan theories in one place and some of them really are mind blowing. For example, are the Dursleys cruel to Harry because he has a horcrux inside of him and Horcruxes do make people inexplicably angry and hateful? Or were Neville's spells backfiring so long because he chose to use his father's wand rather than using a wand that actually chose him?